Sunday, November 29, 2009

More news about Ktog

This weekend I got one yarn review knitted and typeset, and typeset the review of the sock yarn I've been working with. I also got Web Browsing dine and finished off our Enduring Classic Book Review. Waiting in the wings is a local yarn shop feature by a guest author, and some pieces for Gizmos and Gottahaves -- Cabin Fever has a new pattern!

The photos of mohair don't turn out well at the best of time, but here is the yarn in question, with a stripe of sock yarn that was used as a pattern in another project.

Last weekend, Mom and I went to Karen Lawrence's Purls of Wisdom retreat. Karen closed her shop, SheepStrings, earlier this year, but she continues to make hand-painted yarn which she will be selling at shows. I bought this yummy yarn which, in real life, looks like a field of sunflowers! The photo at right isn't doing it justice at all!
Having spent the day in the office, I'm off to do a bit of knitting!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another Two Weeks...

and another productive weekend in the office! Yesterday I prepared notices for our advertisers and retailers about the changes coming to Canadian Guild of Knitters. Since the retailers will be made aware of them before the next issue of Knit Together comes out, I may make an announcement in the blog here within the next couple weeks. Keep your eye on this space!

Today, I got another page laid out for the November issue and marked one of the test packages for Level 2. Last weekend I marked another Level 1 package, which should be safe at its maker's home by now.

This past summer hasn't afforded me the focus I need to work on complex projects, so I've been working on self-striping socks, a plain mohair shawl, baby surprise jackets, and a yarn sample or two just to keep the fingers nimble. As that much-missed characteristic finds its way back into my days, I've found a project just right for my still-hurting attention span: a clock. A Fair Isle clock. I saw the "Clock Tam Kit" in the Knit Picks catalogue, and thought, "Cool," and moved on. That would have been it, if Darling hadn't seen it and said "Wouldn't it be neat for you to knit a clock?" One gauntlet, thrown down. I ordered the kit, and, after perusing the directions and modifying some of the numbers, I dug in. Apart from the 5 (which I didn't change quite enough), I'm pleased with the result. I'm especially happy that the colours that came with the kit matched the wood of the kitchen cupboards so well! This was a good project to try and 'get back in the swing again.'
The other two Fair Isle projects I started this year are in a holding pattern and will remain there until the focus is truly back on track.
I want to leave this post with a warm fuzzy: Zoey, the CGK mascot, has separation anxiety, so she's usually not far from wherever I am. That usually includes the shower. One recent morning, I stepped out of the shower and found her curled up on my bath robe, which had slipiped off the side of the bath tub. She is a pretty princess, and to be truthful, I think she looks good on coral.
Next weekend, Bonnie and I are going to a retreat in Muskoka with workshops by Sally Melville. Again, watch this space for information of our escapades.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Back in the Office again.

There's still much to do for the November issue, so I'm spending this rainy day (another one in a cast of thousands, it seems, this year) in the office. It's good to feel up to the task.

I have been alerted to an errata from the August, 2009 issue of Knit Together, on page 17, under Knitting Getaways: Julia Bryant's telephone number is 485-1751, not 61 as stated. My apologies to Julia. I hope that anyone interested in her inspiring tour of Morocco is able to reach her by e-mail, or through another avenue or her blog, .

Change is in the wind at Canadian Guild of Knitters, and we will be making some announcements in our November issue. All things evolve, and so must I.

Now, it's off to write (or do paperwork... it's a toss up!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trying to get back on track

It's been a long summer and early fall. Too much bad weather has helped to make for a long, uphill climb that some days just didn't seem worth the effort. The tide is turning a bit, and I'm trying to get myself back on track.

The November issue got started soon after the August issue went into the mail. It still needs more work than I would like at this stage, and I've still got membership renewals that have come in during the last month to process. Today, however, I finally got to mark the Level 1 materials that have been in the office for far too long. Just two test packages of Level 2 materials to mark, now.

Time and health haven't been my friends of late, but I am gradually getting reacquainted with both. I thank you for your patience as I work through it.

Knitting wise, I have been able to get some simple projects done. A knit-along (KAL) on the EZasPi yahoo group ( has got me doing a few Baby Surprise Jackets (BSJs). I have a good reason, as Darling's son and daughter-in-law are expecting. Here's the one I have done in DK yarn. From the leftovers, I've made a pair of socks from Cabin Fever's Tiny Speckled Toes pattern and a bonned adapted from an old Paton's book.
A second one was done in white Cotton Club (discontinued yarn) with black-and-red and black-and-white stripes, and one from a new, printed yarn called Splash by King Cole. I found it on an expedition to a new yarn shop in Scarborough called Creative Yarns, located in a plaza on a corner of Warden Avenue just south of the 401. They had some other yummy stuff there, too.
I've started a couple of complex projects, but have abandoned them for now. Soon, I'll get back to them.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The 13th again??

OK, this whole time thing is just getting stupid!

Last week I got the printer's copy uploaded for the next issue of Knit Together, and I haven't had a chance to proofread a damned thing!

I stayed home from K-W to get that done, but instead wound up helping Darling stain the shed he built for my CGK booth materials and other things. For those of you who missed us at K-W this year, we're sorry, but we were short-staffed for the booth this year, and I had another commitment. See you in 2010!

We've packed a lot of living into the last month, and it's kind of important that we do so right now.

One thing we did do a couple weeks ago is another batch of Hot Rod Relish, the first since 2007. It's a family recipe made with tomatoes, sweet green and red and hot red peppers. It's like salsa, but with 5 cups of sugar in a batch. Trivia: there are 25 cups of sugar in the jars on the right! You make 5 batches every couple of years, and it keeps the whole family happy!

This morning we went for a long paddle, one of the first of the season, and the longest one since I moved here last year. Darling snapped this photo of me and Zoey, our CGK mascot:

It was nice to have a summer day to enjoy at least a piece of!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We're getting closer!

I can't believe it's been a month since my last post. I shouldn't be surprised, really, for it's been a month of steady working at Knit Together, and it's nearly ready to go to print. That's why you haven't heard from me.

Knitting is a requirement of getting Knit Together out the door, and there's been a lot of knitting going on. First, I finished the main project. It's a summer top called Flowers for Mary. I don't want to give this one away, so here's a peek at the 'flowers...'

Then, I got too wrapped up in another yarn review. One of the yarns in this issue is a self-striping sock yarn. I've never professed to be a sock knitter... I can count the pair of adult and baby socks I've ever made on one hand. But, I got new sandals to wear indoors (one of the pleasures of aging, I'm sure) and I'm going to want some funky socks for the winter... so without further adieu here are my 'fraternal' socks. They look quite similar without shoes, and very different in the sandals. Note that the stripes reverse from one sock to the other... this is because I made them both at the same time from the inside and outside ends of a 100 gram ball. Neat trick, eh! I all these my 'port and starboard socks, because the colours just happened to come out red on one toe and green on the other! They were such fun to do, I'm doing another pair in the 'primarily yellow' colourway.
Finally, I re-knit the mini project for this issue... it's a dress scarf made from Australian merino laceweight wool and the Habu Silk Stainless I reviewed in a previous issue. I'll release a picture of this closer to press time, which will be soon, now, as the last of the pages are headed for the proofreader tomorrow. Just page 2 to layout, and we're ready to ftp the file!
I have to go and put these on ravelry now!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Now, THAT's a lap cat!

Leah, apparently, has no idea about a workspace. Seems she thinks it's a playspace. The other morning, just after I sat down at the computer, she decided to do her usual peek out the office window. After she finished that, she poked her way across my keyboard, to a sparkly elastic that had caught her eye.
Meanwhile, my spread sheet was going 6777777777;km.nn.
Progress continues on Knit Together. A batch of proofreading was delivered earlier in the week, and another piece was completed on this beautiful, sunny Saturday morning.
Next week, Darling and I are going to take a couple of days off. I'm hopeful there will be a yarn shop visit involved. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

1000 and Counting!

Today was a milestone day at Canadian Guild of Knitters! We welcomed our 1000th member to the Guild since we began in October, 2002.

The nicest part of it was that this membership was a gift from a Mom to her daughter! It reminded me of the kind things that Joan Kidd used to do for her family. I miss her still.

So, our congratulations go to Carolyn Nelson (nee Ellis), whose Mom, Alice, wanted her to be part of Canadian Guild of Knitters.

Carolyn is receiving a prize pack consisting of several knitting books, a new Canadian Guild of Knitters tool clutch, and an extended membership. We're happy to have Carolyn on board, as we are all CGK members!

This morning I also finished a book review for Enduring Classics for the next issue. Stay tuned, Canada: Canadian Guild of Knitters continues to make our circle of knitters grow.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

As the sneak peek events in Calgary got to rocking, I boarded a plane on Friday morning and came back to Ontario. It felt good to be headed home, even though Fibre Week was every bit the fun it was last year!
Most of the Fibre Week classes are held in the Life Science building at Olds College. Olds is an agricultural college, and the grounds are evidence of this! The flowers in south-central Alberta are two to three weeks behind Ontario, so I was treated to a double batch of lilacs, peonies and iris again this year.

My workshops, although slimly attended, were a lot of fun. It was great to have participants tell me that this was 'just the information' they needed. The project board class does better with larger groups, but still, the results were fantastic, as can be seen in the photo on the left.

To complete the slides for the three shawl workshops, I had Darling take some photos of some of the pieces that were to be included. The Orkney Pi, finished about a month ago, played into the wind to get this shot that shows Liz Lovick's design to near-perfection. I showed it in the fashion show on Tuesday night at Olds. I wore it folded in half, and part way down the runway I paused and lifted the top layer to a chorus of 'Oooohs' that sounded very much like the little scrubbing bubbles on the TV commercial. This pattern is available from . I made some slight modifications to the original design -- the motifs between the trees, the increases for the diamond section, and the edging. I also had to take 9 rounds out of the large trees section. As it was, it is about 78 inches in diameter.

As far as stash acquisition goes, I tried to behave... I did purchase a couple of lace bobbins, which I've been collecting for years now... another retirement project, you understand. I also bought this yummy, popsicle coloured tencel with a spring/summer shawl in mind...I also hauled home two skeins of ragg yarn from Twisted Sisters in Alberta, and a skein of very fine 60/2 silk.
There's a rumour that there could be a new spinning wheel in my future... we'll see.
Now, I'm back home, and looking at the realities of Canadian Guild of Knitters. I came to a tough decision before I left for Alberta, and I'm still thinking that it is the right thing for me. The stress of being behind with Knit Together is weighing heavily on me and I've put off going 'drastic' as long as I can. As is my way, what I have to achieve to get 'caught up' will be done in a manner that is fair to every member of Canadian Guild of Knitters. Canadian knitters have been very supportive, and I will honour that with the utmost respect.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Alberta Bound

It is good to be Alberta Bound. I'm looking forward to meeting all the fun people I met for the first time last year -- Michelle, Barb (Crazy Lady Barb to some of you on knit lists), Peg from the Yukon...
There is still room in my workshops, so if anyone is near Calgary and wants to pick up a class, I'm sure Olds College can register you for a day session. Monday is triangle shawls, Tuesday is circular shawls and the wrap up on Wednesday is square shawls. Come on over to the college's website and check it out: .

I was up with the birds this morning -- 3:30 a.m. Alberta time, 5:30 home time... I'm going to be very tired by the time the plane lands at 8:00 p.m. Calgary time. But, you see, we have this Jenny Wren about 50 feet away from the bedroom window, and when she starts singin', yer up!

Other news since the last post: Darling was accepted into the juried art show coming up in July (11, 12, are the dates). Here is one of his "bird studies in watercolour:" It's a bit unseasonal, but it's still a pretty bird!
The loons are back on the river this year with another clutch of two. The little guy on (what I presume is) mama's back looks completely relaxed. I'm sure this photo-by-Darling will also become a painting some day.
Now, I must go and finish packing. I've had the usual 'dog pile' building in the bedroom all week. This trip I don't have to worry about shutting down hot water tanks, setting security systems, arranging dog sitting, watering plants, or locking back gates and basement windows...there is someone here to keep the home fires burning. And Zoey thinks that's great, too!
When I get home Knit Together is going to get some badly-needed attention. This month has been busy putting finishing touches on handouts, notes, and slide shows. However, I have been able to draft a few more exercises on Level 2, and I'm taking my working notes with me, just in case...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Still here!

It's been a most interesting and exciting couple of weeks.

Last weekend (May 30/31) I joined Darling at Wings Over Muskoka, a conference about birds, dragonflies and butterflies. It was an incredible part of my journey - we stayed at the new Red Leaves Resort overlooking (almost looming over) Lake Rosseau -- this was the view from our room:

We met some wonderful people, who are passionate about what they do -- artists and naturalists -- and were treated to the best possible service by the staff at this Mariott-operated resort.

Just before we left for the conference, I received an e-mail from Olds College: My shawl workshops are a GO! So, this weekend has been spent blocking the second last sample and putting the finishing touches on handouts and teaching notes. Fibre Week at Olds runs from June 29 to July 1. Here is another photo of one of the sample shawls we do in the workshop:
There are still spaces in some of the classes, so if you are interested and can get to Olds Alberta at the end of this month, go for it! Their website is .
I'm bleary eyed from staring at this screen all day... I'm going to go and knit now...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Yesterday, in Photos

Yesterday started with blocking this black mini shawl. It's one of the shawls for my square shawl workshop. It's hard to tell from this photo, but the yarn is my secret weapon for shawls -- sock yarn -- with a silver fleck in it. You've got to love blocking wires for a project like this. Because.....
In order to block my Orkney Pi (It's Finished, TA DA!), I had to draw more circles on my blocking sheet. My pattern drafting course materials came to my rescue: that one metre, bilingual straight edge and a green sharpie created six new circles on my chequered sheet.

I needed every last line, too: the faggotting on the edging went to the 36 inch circle (and that's the radius measurement. Point-to-point, the Orkney Pi measures 76 inches (and it has over 225,000 stitches in it.)

And here it is, after two hours to draw lines and pin it out. Oh, I tried the new Knit Picks blocking pins, and I have to say they are fine wire, easy on the hands, very sharp and they work well. I needed two more packages to do this job right. If anyone learns of a source for the rustproof pins in the yellow container, let me know. I need more of those, too.

Since the weather was fine, I headed out to the garden and popped impatiens in the shady areas of the yard such as the 'kitchen' bed, front door beds and shady containers and petunias and pansies into the containers that actually get some sun (on the dock and the steps of the cabin).

This is the Kitchen bed... it's had a lot of attention this year. Prior to blackfly season, I added the blue corydalis, foam flower, Solomon's Seal, Acanthus and astilbe visible in the photo. (The croci, trillium, sedum and coral bells were already there).

After that, I could hardly move and I was hungry (I'd stopped to grab some toaster waffles before heading outside), so I made one of my favourite meals: KDPV - Kraft Dinner Prima Vera. You take your average box of KD, boil the water, add the macaroni and the vegetables of your choice (I used cauli, carrots, broccoli and celery in this batch) and cook 'em right in with the pasta. While that's brewing, you grate a cup of chedder cheese. When you're doing your sauce mix, toss in the cheese and stir it all together. Tip for Moms: this is a great way to 'hide' veggies in plain view.
Then I sat on the front deck and tried to puzzle out a knitting design until the cold and the mosquitoes got to me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

We're SOOoooo close!

It's been a busy holiday weekend: Social events two out of the three nights, test knitting on Flowers for Mary, the main project in the next issue of Knit Together, another few points done on the Orkney Pi, some bits 'plugged in' to the next issue, and today -- paperwork, which brings me to the subject of this post.

The last new number on the membership list I recorded today was number 999! That's right: we're one membership away from member number 1000! Who will it be?

Member number 999 is The Knit Cafe, in Toronto, our newest Retail Member. . Drop on over to their website for a visit!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It was a rainy day.

Last night's workout left me stiff and sore, so I thought that this rainy morning would be a good time to crawl around on the floor pinning out a three-foot doily. A couple months ago I 'borrowed back' the Kinzel Sun Ray I had made for my sister, to add to my shawl workshop examples. It came complete with a huge mustard stain (I think it was mustard) which I was able to remove. Here is a picture of it starched, stretched and drying:

While and all it makes a beautiful table centrepiece, it would also make a nice shawl.

This piece was made of the left-overs from a cone of 5/2 cotton I used to make the four-foot Rose of England table centrepiece for my ex's mother (who I still fondly refer to as my MIL, even though I now have a new MIL-to-be).

Speaking of shawls, last weekend saw me cross the half-way point for the points around the outside edge of the Orkney Pi. Another month, by my estimate, and the Orkney Pi will be laid out on the sheet in the photo above.

Here is a picture of the Orkney Pi with some of the edging in natural form:

Before I show the other pieces I starched today, here is a sneek peak at the project for the February issue of Knit Together. The test knitting is most enjoyable because of the yarn I'm using. If you can get near any Sirdar Baby Bamboo, go for it!

And now, the other two pieces. If you're going to work up a batch of starch, you may as well make the most of it!

On the left is a doily I knitted years ago from a McCall's special. The pattern was funky, because you knit the centre, then the openwork ends, then pick up stitches all around and work the outer border. It's a pill to stretch accurately, and it uses up every pin in the house. The square one is from the Anna/Burda special that is still the buzz on lace knit lists. The pattern is a bit boring, however, it, too could be expanded to make a beautiful shawl, in either a square or triangle format.

Now I'm going to get some lunch, then clear off this tremendously messy desk, and do some paperwork!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

In other productivity news...

Yesterday I took advantage of a warm day to paint some plant pots and pop some perennials in the ground.

The Orkney Pi continues to grow an edging: There are now 24 points (of 80), 9 of which were completed this weekend. That's about all the knitting news, except for the work on the samples for the next issue.

The 'settling in' continues: Thursday night I set up my desk in the bedroom closet (it's a BIG closet), and got my rubbermaid bins arranged around it. The area doesn't look a whole lot better, but at least I can find my yarn remnant bins, my thread rack is no longer lying on its back, and I can identify bins of clothes from bins of yarn.

All this organizing sure feels good!

A productive weekend - in more ways than one!

Today was a busy day in the office -- the weather made for an incentive to stay inside and compute!

The frustrations with the November issue live on -- it's in the hands of the printers now, but they only run the colour press on certain days of the week, and my run doesn't get on until tomorrow, so it will be Wednesday before I can get this issue into the envelopes.

So, since I could do no more with the old issue, I spent the day doing a little organizing here in the office (I found a banker's box of stuff from the move, and had to dig out my material for my creativity workshop), then settled down to input two yarn reviews and one of the projects for the next issue.

In my digging about I also found some old photographs to add to the CGK scrapbook. I began it when I started CGK, and, thanks to my new beau's daughter-in-law, we're getting together one night a month to try and get it caught up -- there've been other things ahead of it on the priority list for the past few years.

Now, I'm off to have a quick video game, then join Darling on the sofa with -- what else? -- some knitting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A productive Sunday

Well, I spent another extended, quality day in the home office.

I started the morning by working on an archive project for Knit Together. I've been taking 2 or 3 copies of each issue for the past six years and sorting them by page/subject. For example, I have all the covers in one section, all the editorials in another, all the Canadian Knitter and Canadian Designer and LYS features in three other sections and so on. I have a section for interest pieces, one for anything that mentions the Knitting Accreditation Program, and a section for any knitting technique pieces. Before today, I had only got as far as August, 2005. Today I got most of 'the majors' right up to date. I still have to file a few technical pieces and general interest bits. This project came about from a fear of running the same editorial twice.
What set me off on this little segue was an effort to find the last listing of successful Level 1 Knitting Accreditation participants. What I found shocked me, so now, I've started a new document to track the history of the Knitting Accreditation Program. I'm telling you, there's a lot to this guild thing! You have to have systems in place to make sure you catch everything, and at the same time, you have to have systems in place to make sure you don't repeat anything!

After lunch I began marking three of the four KAP packages I have in-house. As it happened, the fourth package is actually a Level 2 test knitting package back in already! Man, you guys are keen! But, I digress.

Since the last batch of KAP announcements were made in Knit Together in May, 200seven, ten more packages have been evaluated. Eight of these participants were successful; only two had to re-examine a few of the exercises. Trivia answer: it takes just over 2 hours, on average, to mark one level package.

I am honoured to see the calibre of work coming back in through the program, and wish everyone could be in my shoes when I crack open those boxes and packages. The boxes I marked today will be mailed out with Knit Together, hopefully later in the week. I have the final draft in my hands... we're down to the odd hyphen and apostrophe fix now, but the real holdup has been the new batch of covers... they take time to dry, and the artwork needs a final OK, too.

In the front 'yard' the mergansers have been all over the nesting box. 'Tis the season! We have one hooded who has been hanging out with a female merganser. There are buffleheads, too. The photo at the right is a couple male buffies. Darling has taken over 500 photos of ducks this year, but this pic is from last year.
Darling has taken to doing water colour paintings of his beloved birds. It gives him something to do while I'm writing and marking. Yesterday morning we did get some yard work done. Right now we have the teensy 'snow flies' as Darling calls them. They're not bad to deal with, but we've got a two week window to get as much done as we can before the blackflies come out. THEY're a problem.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My new Title

I have been proclaimed the Demi-goddess of Knitterly Organization! Me! Me, who, on any given day, has a desk that looks like a bomb hit it! Me, who still has 99% of her stash in storage after a house move last year.

Yes, this is humbling news, indeed, given my own world.

How do you suppose I might have been sainted with such a title? Well, you see, I have a knack for spreadsheets. Give me a spreadsheet and I will organize data. And that, it seems is where the organizing story ends. However, I managed to create a database for one of the knit lists I belong to on yahoo groups (MMario), and MMario himself granted me this illustrious title. I've asked if this title comes with a tiara, but I haven't heard back yet... but I'm hopeful!

This weekend the proofreading continues for the next issue of Knit Together. Today I have a family gathering later on, so I posted photos of the projects in this issue on my Ravelry page (where I am "theloveofknit", for those of you who Ravel, too).

Exciting news: A fellow I met at Mile High Conference in 2007 is now working part-time at Lacis. They have a new book coming out, and I'm in line to get a review copy of it. Look for more information about it in a future issue of Knit Together!

In personal knitting, work continues on the Orkney Pi. There was some debate whether to end it with horseshoes or do a sideways-knitted edging. So I cast on 80 sts, and 'faked up' an outside edge (shown at left in photo) then tried several incarnations of a zig-zig border. The garter stitch won out, because, as could be expected, the stocking stitch (second point from bottom) curled dreadfully. I tried to orientate the rosebuds the same way as they appear in the body in the centre point, but didn't like the effect. It doesn't look bad in the photo, but it doesn't work well close-up. I wound up going with the original design from the bottom point, but I moved the rosebud one stitch to the left. Keep in mind that this sample hasn't been blocked.

The full shawl, unblocked, to the outside edge, is now 62" in diameter, roughly as wide as I am tall. The Horseshoes would have added 7 inches to that, but the edging only adds 5 inches, when measured out to the points. Heaven only knows what'll happen in the blocking. It will be very *lightly* blocked, I'm sure of that.

This morning, over my coffee, I finished the last two rounds of the body of the shawl, and got the first three repeats of the edging done. Only 77 repeats to go! How many rows in a repeat? 32! But, we're on the home stretch.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Eleven weeks!

I'm all in a flap, just like this guy! As I promised, I got the layout for the next issue of Knit Together uploaded to the printer's!

When I looked back I find that the last one was uploaded just under eleven weeks ago! I'm so excited, I had to share.

The plan this weekend was also to get all the recently-received renewals and memberships caught up and mailed as necessary, and unfortunately that hasn't happened. I promise to get to that either this week or over the Easter Weekend, when we will be preparing the mailing material and doing final proof reads for the magazine.

To those of you who are waiting, thanks for your patience and for giving me a few more days.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Just one more day

We're in the home stretch for the next issue of Knit Together. The last page of article was finished today. Tomorrow I'll layout the contents page and tidy up page 2, the upload the ftp to the printer!

This issue had the annual-ish challenge of renewing advertising for the back cover. I'm still waiting to hear from one advertiser, but I have two bookings as it stands. This *could* delay the release of this issue by an additional week, but other than that, I'm pleased that this issue will go to the printers *within* the three months it's supposed to!

Looking further ahead, the projects for February and May issues are mapped out, as are several of the features for the February issue. The goal is to have February mailed before I go to Olds. If I can achieve that, I'll be on my way to a full production schedule recovery.

The photo at the right is a glimpse of one of the techniques used in the mini project going to press tomorrow: i-cord cast on. For a written refresher, look at the May, 2008 issue of Knit Together.
I-cord cast on makes a fabulous edge for scarves, and all kinds of projects. Cast on 3 stitches and try it!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Muddlin' on

It has been an interesting few days. Work continues on sample shawls for workshops, and I marked a Knitting Accreditation level on Friday afternoon. Friday morning I spent looking for year-end stuff the bookkeeper has requested, and trying to clear off this desk!

Yesterday I went to the spinning guild and gave the reader's digest version of the Triangle Shawl Workshop. It appeared to go quite well... in all about half of the spinners in attendance participated, and, since many of us want to actually spin when we're at a meeting because of the rarity of uninterrupted spinning time, I thought this was a good turnout. The focus of yesterday's workshop was on the design study and I was very pleased to have people telling me that they liked the way I described decreases, and how they would be trying some of this stuff out on other projects.

Today I fixed the two typos on the participant's handouts and re-worked my teaching notes. The word on the top: Breathe! I get so excited about this stuff I gather momentum, so I need to realize that other people need me to breathe so they can hear the information in real time!

Hopefully some of these people will test knit two of the three patterns that were in their handouts! Tonight we have friends coming for dinner.

Tomorrow is another Knit Together day. This issue is getting closer, but I need to contact some retailers, so I took a couple of days to get that done.

Morning knitting these past few weekends has been spent on the Orkney Pi, which I started when we were in Great Britain last fall. I'm about 84% complete now, and I have to make a decision about the next stage. It's 60" in diameter, and it hasn't been blocked yet. If I do the next set out rounds, it will be 67" in diameter when the knitting is over. That's not a shawl, that's a blanket! But it's beautiful, this design by Liz Lovick. I'm almost finished the outer ring of trees.
Now, I'm off to update the Ravelry project for this one, and go visit our 'peeps.'

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I was having SUCH a good day...

The latest issue was clicking together, I got a close up of the flowers for the project on the cover of the next issue, and tidied up a few edits to the knitter feature. I had also drafted out the yarn shop text.
I thought "I should call it a day," at that point but nooo, I had to keep going.
I decided to lay out the mini project, a scarf with two pages of text that I need to get onto one half page. Naturally, it didn't *quite* fit, so I figured I would copy the layout into a WordPerfect document and print it for my working copy to test my edits. About five minutes before Darling called, "Dinner's ready!" I got the dialogue box telling me the memory was full. Curses!
Sometimes, when that happens, I can copy the text and paste it over, but not today. I lost everything I did for the previous two hours, including my lovely, creative, abbreviations.
So, I'm off to cry in my rum and coke. This day is officially over.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Two, Two, Two knitters in one...

Day, that is.

After another long day in the office, I've completed yet another book review, and the Canadian Knitter feature for the next two issues.

There's always something to do here at Canadian Guild of Knitters.

Yesterday it took over an hour to take all the spam out of our three e-mail accounts on the domain. If anyone knows of a really effective spam-jamming software, let me know!

Currently I'm testing the knitting for upcoming projects, and making more sample shawls for upcoming workshops.

Now that my eyes are squared off, it's time to go and knit!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wind beneath my wings

Like any enterprise, Canadian Guild of Knitters offers up joyous days, downer days, and all-mixed-up days. Today was the latter, but I'm choosing to focus on the joyous events within it.

It began with a nasty headache. At 6:30 a.m. Not fair! Several Advil (R) and breakfast later, the edge was off of the beast within.

Today was mail day. Mail days can go either way. Usually they're positive, and today's was elating! To those of you who take the time to write comments on your renewal cards: thank you! You place a gust of wind beneath my wings, and I can plod on through the day, even when I am in Advil-ville!

At least four more copies of the Knitting Accreditation Program and a record six knitting bags were processed by our shipping (ahem) department today!

At 4:00, Darling coaxed me out into the beautiful sunny day that I suspect was the reason for my trip to Advil-ville.

People sometimes ask me what Darling does while I'm writing and shipping and databasing. This winter he has taken up watercolour painting - birds, of course. Just after Christmas I set up a blog for his bird photos: it's Darling has studied the nesting habits of birds since he was a young lad growing up in England. My passion for knitting is very much equal to his passion for bird studies. If you like birds, stop by his blog.

So now it's after dinner, and I *should* be processing more paperwork and survey responses. But I've enjoyed a delicious barbecue burger and a 'big girl' pop, so I'm going to go and knit a few rounds on one of the sample shawls for my upcoming workshops.

To those of you who appreciate the effort that goes into Canadian Guild of Knitters, from writing a half-page article, to processing memberships, to shipping orders -- thanks. It means a lot!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Won't ANYbody play ball?

Is that one dejected looking puppy, or what?
Monday night while Darling and I were inserting magazines into the envelopes prepared last weekend, Zoey (Canadian Guild of Knitters' mascot since 2004) asked to get in on the fun. The problem is, her idea of fun is chasing the ball that she dropped into the box top in the background.
She looked so sad, I grabbed the camera and took this shot. Really, she *could* have licked a few of those envelopes while she was there! (not really... we use an envelope sealer for that -- don't be alarmed!)

Yesterday morning I got a chance to block the scarf made from the Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn. It gained 2 1/4 inches in width and almost 14 inches in length! I'm very pleased with the way it opened up the double eyelets.
The knitters at guild the other night tried to convince me about the yarn, but still, I'm looking for substitutes to produce the final draft of this pattern.
This morning the Canadian Guild of Knitters' website ( got an update. Do stop by and visit the sites of our retailers. I enjoy doing this periodically myself!
So, now that the website and blog are updated, it's off to work on the next issue of Knit Together!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Envelopes done and a wee look back

After a couple days' 'down time' -- I must say, even the sinus infection last October didn't take me to the mat like this week's cough and cold did -- I'm (sing it now) Back in the office again.

Knit Together was delayed due to a scheduling issue at the printer's, which meant that I got the weekend to work on the prep work for the mailing.
As always, Darling helped put on the postage, while I put on labels and attached membership cards to the appropriately-labelled envelopes, ready to pop the magazines into when they come in on Monday. Something to do while watching American Idol! The magazines will be in the mail on Tuesday.

Years ago, but not at the very beginning of my knitting life, I started to photograph my knitting. You see, I used to knit for yarn shops, and one year I kept a list of the 80-some articles I made. I came across it a couple years later, and realized I couldn't visualize even half of the items on the list. So, I began taking photos of my knitting. After my day in the office, I decided to scan my photos so all my craft life photos can be put into one directory on the computer.

The dress in this photo is one of the earliest photos I have of my knitting. I have no idea what I used as a backdrop, or who I made the dress for, but apart from the focus, I'm really pleased with the picture, and remember being very pleased with the dress itself.

Back in 1991, I made my first visit to Colorado. Six months later I learned to spin and learned that six months earlier I had been in the -- well -- wool mecca of the western United States. Sigh.
Anyway, I learned to spin to learn more about the way yarn was made. Like most endeavours, I jumped right in, and, next thing I knew, I was doing demonstrations for the spinner's guild. The side benefit of this was teaching a new generation about the wonders of fibres. The photo at the right was taken in 1993. The wheel in the photo was my first spinning wheel -- an Ashford Traveller. Not period, but it got the point across. The dress I am wearing was the one my mother wore for the 1967 Centennial celebrations, and the apron actually is a family artifact: it belonged to my great-great Aunt Christie.
Next on the agenda: a book review for the November issue -- a brand new book about colour -- just for knitters! I can't wait!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another day of editing

Today the next-to-last edits were e-mailed to the printer, and our 'sneak peek' for the November issue was readied.

Yesterday, the label information was prepared, to be ready when the magazines come back from the printer.

As another print cycle winds down, I'm doing anything but. A new winter's cold that set in this morning, may have something to say about that...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

File Successfully Uploaded

YAYY! That always feels good. This title means that the Knit Together layout file has been successfully loaded to the printer's website. It means our 'first last draft' will be ready by week end, and that we will be on the presses once more by mid next week. You may not know that I do the layouts for every page of Knit Together, and that by the time each issue gets to the printer's it has been proofread a minimum of four times by three individuals. In the world of commas and apostrophes, though, it usually gets proofread three more times before the presses roll.

This weekend, we'll be polishing off one last page for this issue, and one for a ' sneak peek' insert of the November issue.

I'll also be working on details for the shawl workshops I'm giving in Alberta in June.

Sunday night Darling said "You've just finished writing for the day, and here you are with a notepad and pen and knitting needles. Don't you ever quit?"

The short answer is: "Nope."

The long answer is: "No, Sweetie: there is much to do." And I will get it done.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's soooo close!

Two more quality days in the office mean that another issue of Knit Together is " " this close to going to press.

Today I polished off a few articles and created another. Once again there is too much written content to include all the advertisements.

This weekend's pages will go to the proofreaders tomorrow, then, after edits on Wednesday night, the .ftp file will be uploaded to the printer. This *always* feels good.

Now, I'm going to reward myself with more work on a yarn sample for the November issue. Here's a sneak peek of our Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn review: This sample has three raisons d'etre: yarn review sample, future Knit Together project, and shawl workshop sample. Win, win, win!
If anyone wants to visit their local yarn shop and do a review.... we pay for submissions!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Knit Together lives!

Today was a quality day in the office. Two more pages are headed to the proofreader for the issue-after-May.

I just went to post a couple photos put into the layouts today, but apparently something has slowed my machine to the speed Molasses is running in Manitoba this month -- has it been cold out there or what??

It has been cold here in Ontario, too. Other than going to work Mon-Fri, I've avoided going outside. Yesterday, though we had a buffet lunch to celebrate Darling's mother's eighty-ninth birthday. Everybody ate a lot of Chinese food!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year, Knitters!

Santa may have brought me everything I wanted for Christmas including uber-warm slippers and an i-pod, and the season certainly brought more socializing with friends and family than ever before, but I have not been a sleepy little elf!

With apologies to the August issue, I have spent most of this Christmas break working on Level 2 of the Knitting Accreditation Program. Anthea (aka Feet to the Fire) has spurred me on to do great things for this long-awaited level. One more proof read in the morning, and she will get her Christmas wish of a vacation knitting assignment. I have two Level 1 submissions here to mark as well, and these, too, shall be done over this break.

Work is also on-going for three workshops I have been developing... need... more... time... It's amazing of all the things you think of when you are developing workshops and program levels!
Attached is but one of over 100 photos I took yesterday to illustrate provisional cast on. I only used a handful of these, however there is much trial and error photographing instructional techniques, to ensure they are clearly depicted.